This summer, before training camp or any big trades were made, I made predictions for how the 2012-13 NBA season would turn out. Nobody is going to be able to predict ever team correctly. Obviously injuries and trades happen. But what I did was group teams into different tiers. Each tier is flexible as to how many teams are in it. For example, if a conference had 10 teams that were legit contenders, then that tier would have 10 teams. If it only has one, then just one.
Since I got busy and never posted my picks, I thought it would be interesting to post them now that we are at the All-Star break and score myself on how well I did. I think it will be clear that I did not change these in any way to make myself look better. I will list their current standing in parentheses.
1. Miami Heat (I.- 1)- Not much to brag about this pick; it was pretty obvious.
2. Boston Celtics (II.- 7)- I wasn’t sure the Celtics would be 2 in the East, but I did think they would be in the top 4. Like the Spurs, you can’t ever count this team out. Even though they are only 7 right now, I still think they can challenge if they get favorable match-ups in the playoffs.
3. Chicago Bulls (III.- 5)- Without Rose, I’m not sure we can expect too much from this team. They traded away most of the players that gave them their identity.
4. Indiana Pacer (II.- 3)- I haven’t watched them much, but from what I understand, they still seem to be playing below their potential.
III. Good, But Not Great
5. New York Knicks (II.- 2)- This team is old, and it’s best players are redundant. But it seems to work. I’m still doubtful as to their actual ability to compete for a title.
6. Brooklyn Nets (III.- 4)- Even though they are ranked higher than I predicted, I think they still belong in this group. I counting this one.
7. Philadelphia 76ers (IV.- 9)- They are barley a Fringe Playoff team, but I’ll give it to them. I really wanted to see this team keep some of its magic from last year.
IV. Fringe Playoff Contender
8. Milwaukee Bucks (IV.- 8)- Hey, I got one!
9. Washington Wizards (V.- 13)- This is a team that has not lived up to potential. Injuries have killed them. Right now we are seeing more of what people expected before the season. Also, what’s the deal with Nene playing limited minutes?
V. No Man’s Land
10. Cleveland Cavaliers (V.- 12)- What did Cleveland expect?
11. Atlanta Hawks (III.- 6)- They were gutted and glued back together with a lot of stop-gap pieces. I did not expect it to work. Probably still belong in the “Good, But Not Great” group.
12. Detroit Pistons (V.- 11)- The good news is that they look like they are in position to move up a tier or two next year if they play their cards right.
13. Toronto Raptors (V.- 10)- The Gay trade actually seems to be working so far.
VI. Bottom Dwellers
14. Orlando Magic (VI.- 14)- What’s funny is that in some ways they’ve actually over preformed. You could argue they move up a tier.
15. Charlotte Bobcats (VI.- 15)- They told us they were going to bottom out.
1. OKC Thunder (I.- 2)- They’re still expected to make a repeat appearance in the Finals.
2. LA Lakers (III.- 1)- Wrong LA team. You know you can’t count them out yet. But if they don’t get in, they will be floating around in No Man’s Land.
3. San Antonio Spurs (I.- 1)- You know this team is always going to be in the mix.
4. Memphis Grizzlies (II.- 4)- Nailed this one. And I think they have a real shot at contending once they figure out how to gel better with the new guys and maybe pick up another 3-point shooter.
5. LA Clippers (I.- 3)- I have completely bought into this team yet, but you can’t say they’re not contenders.
6. Denver Nuggets (II.- 5)- You can’t help but feel that nobody wants to face this team in the playoffs.
III. Good, But Not Great/Fringe Playoff Contenders
7. Minnesota TImberwolves (V.- 12)- If they had had a healthy team all season they probably could have cracked this group, but in the deep West it’s hard to say if they’d be in the playoffs or not.
8. Utah Jazz (III.- 7)- They’re going to have to be more consistent if they want to stay here.
9. Dallas Mavericks (IV.- 11)- They may not be shaving for the rest of the season.
IV. No Man’s Land
10. Golden State Warriors (III.- 6)- You’ve gotta be impressed by what this team is doing.
11. Portland Trail Blazers (III.- 9)- They’re still in the playoff hunt, but they are more likely to end in the worst spot imaginable- the 9 seed.
12. New Orleans Hornets (V.- 13)-
V. Bottom Dwellers
13. Phoenix Suns (V.- 15)- What do you expect when you trade Steve Nash.
14. Sacramento Kings (V.- 14)- Free Jimmer!
15. Houston Rockets (III.- 15)- I wonder where they’d be without James Harden. Probably not this low, but still.
Alright, let’s see how I did. In the East, I placed 10 of the in the right tiers and got 4 spot on. In the West, I got 7 in the right tier and 3 spot on. So my mid-term grade is 17/30 (56.7%) in the tier system and 7/30 (23.3%) for exact positioning. But that’s probably at least as good as any of the talking heads on TV.